inessential by Brent Simmons

Mailing list for OS X Web Services Developers

I’ve been thinking of starting a mailing list for developers who write web services desktop apps for Mac OS X. If I hear from a few people that they would participate, I’ll get it started.

It would have two main purposes:

1. Setting standards.

For instance, Steve Ivy and I worked up a clipboard format for RSS items. We haven’t presented it to the world yet: I’d like to run it by a small group of developers first.

Such a clipboard format would allow an application like MacNewsWire, an RSS news reader, to exchange data with a website authoring tool such as Archipelago. In other words, one would copy (or drag) an item from MacNewsWire into Archipelago in order to post it to a weblog.

The point is to make sure our apps interoperate, which helps everybody.

2. Developing a standard toolbox of code.

It’s in everybody’s best interest that apps in this space are of high quality: that helps build the market. For example, Dan Wood’s excellent CURLHandle has apparently become a widely-used framework for doing HTTP downloads. I use it myself. (Dan is the guy behind Watson.)

Me, I have some RSS and OPML parsing code to contribute. I bet other people have other code. Developing and testing such code, and making it available under a license (such as BSD or MIT) that allows people to use it, means we all have more time to concentrate on our respective visions rather than the nuts-and-bolts underneath.